Welcome to NK’s Album Flashbacks, where the Negative Kitty shares her thoughts on not-so-recent albums. Today’s album review: Dreams by Gábor Szabó!
So, picture this: you’re lounging on your favorite sunny spot, maybe near a window, where the sunbeam perfectly tickles your whiskers. As you dose off in a catnip high you dream of the most specatcular kitty paradise. Mhmmmmmmeow. The soundtrack to this kitty dream oasis would be this magical album, Dreams by Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó.
We gotta talk about that album cover doe, that right there is ART. And it fits the album’s vibes totally. Mystical, exotic, mesmerizing, mhmm — the music matches the cover art. Anyone like me who’s been on the internet a while should be familiar with the album cover(and hopefully the music) because back in the day, or like 4 years ago >____>, this album would get recommended by YouTube all the time. I ain’t complaining, this album is total awesomeness. Talk about feline intuition, am I right? Those recommendations were totally on point!
This enchanting album cat-ivates listeners right from the start with its alluring track, “Galatea’s Guitar.” This acoustic-based multi-instrumental masterpiece unfolds gradually, surprising us with exquisite twists and turns that establish it as an instant standout.The intro track is statuesque; probably cuz Galatea is a reference to the statue carved by Pygmalion that was so gorgeous he fell in love. This makes total sense listening to this song. Let me tell you, this tune is like a mesmerizing catnip dance! I can already see myself swaying my tail to the rhythm!
Now let’s delve into the depths of this album with the track,”The Fortune Teller.”
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil your future, but I can tell you this track is filled with mystery and intrigue. The complex compositions and oriental influences will have you channeling your inner clairvoyant cat, I can just imagine myself prancing around the room, pretending to see the future in a crystal ball. Complex compositions and an Eastern influence fuel the frantic brilliance of this track. I just can’t sit still when it comes on, I feel like there’s places to be and things to do, sorta like heading right into the next track, “Fire Dance”. This one might be my favorite; It’s like the sassy strut of a confident kitty, swaying those hips and showing off some serious cattitude. A strong and steady bassline provides the foundation for incatdescent flourishes, intense plucking and masterful jazz guitar. The track finishes with a segment of horns and a continuation of the main composition. It’s fiery, it’s sassy, and it’s everything a cat like me wants in a tune! It’s like a burst of energy that’ll make you wanna zoom.
Along with the insanely complex original compositions, there are a few covers and reinterpretations of classical pieces that are equally beautiful. “Fire Dance” is a reimagination of the classical composition Danza ritual del fuego, which is a movement of the ballet El amor brujo, written by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla in 1915. In de Falla’s ballet there’s this young Andalusian gypsy girl, Candela, and she’s got a spooky problem – her dead hubby is haunting her! But you know what they say, when life gives you ghosts, you gotta dance ’em away! So, all the gypsies come together in the dead of night, forming a massive circle around their campfire. And guess what? Candela’s got a plan! She’s gonna perform the super-cool “Fire Dance” to shake off that pesky ghost. As the music starts playin’, Candela and the ghost start to dance, swirling and twirling like there’s no tomorrow. It’s like a cat-and-mouse game, but with a fiery twist! The faster they spin, the more the ghost gets drawn towards the flames, until poof! Like magic, he’s gone – no more haunting for him! I could totally see myself dancing along with Candela to this feugo track.
And now we have the final song of the album, which is a cover of highly influential psychedelic folk and rock singer-songwriter Donovan’s incredibly beautiful track of the same name, the light and carefree “Ferris Wheel”. This track beautifully wraps up and reflects upon the parts of the album we’ve experienced. Twinkling strumming, tight drumming and resplendent strings take us away.
So there you have it, “Dreams” by Gabor Szabo is a musical masterpiece that’s simply the cat’s meow! Szabo was one of the most original guitarists back in the 60, mixing his Hungarian folk music background with a serious passion for jazz. You know what’s crazy? Szabo was inspired by a Roy Rogers cowboy movie, and began playing guitar when he was 14.
So, here’s the deal – if you haven’t checked out Gabor Szabo yet, you’re missing out big time! Get yourself groovin’ to his tunes, and you’ll see why he’s a hidden gem of the music world.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some sunbeams to bask in while I listen to “Dreams” again. Until next time, keep meowing to the beat and remember, music is the purr-fect remedy for any bad day!
<3 – NKmeow